WP1: Setting the boundary conditions for 2020-2050 grid planning (SINTEF)

The e-Highway2050 scenarios are neither predictions nor forecasts. We do not conclude that one scenario will be more probable to happen than another, or that one scenario is more preferred or "better" than another. Rather, each scenario is one alternative image of how the future could unfold. Thus, one must first devise images of alternative possible futures. This is done by identifying the main uncertainties from the e-Highway2050 perspective, and combining these into coherent and relevant futures for e-Highway2050. Narrative stories must be elaborated to describe how each future might unfold and how the internal relationships in the system to be analyzed should be, without the need of detailed figures at first.
This process is performed in seven main steps, see Figure 2:


Seven steps of setting up e-Highway2050 scenarios

Figure 2: The seven steps of setting up e-Highway2050 scenarios


  1. First, a detailed bottom-up specification of all relevant uncertainties and options with corresponding boundary condition is done. This step is performed in each task in WP1, and is summarised in this deliverable.
  2. To limit the possible combinations to a feasible number, we need to identify and assess the main uncertainties and options that will create the relevant futures and strategies for e-Highway2050. 
  3. The main uncertainties are combined into possible Ffutures that we narrate in a verbal way without giving specific numbers for each uncertainty.
  4. In parallel, the main options are combined into relevant strategies for implementation of EHS in different possible futures.
  5. In this step, coherent futures and strategies are combined into possible scenarios. In this step, coherence means that related uncertainties and options should match – e.g. in a future where CCS is not commercially available we cannot have CCS as an option. This is the final stage of work in WP1, and overlaps with Task 2.1 Scenario Development.
  6. Even though the possible scenarios from step 5 are chosen to have coherence, the resulting number (Scenarios = Futures x Options) will be too high for the analyses in following work packages. Thus, an extra step is performed to reduce the number of possible scenarios by elimination: First a more detailed check for inconsistencies is performed; between the different uncertainties, between the different options and between uncertainties and options. Secondly, we assess how each scenario is assumed to impact on the development of EHS. Scenarios that will have a similar impact on EHS can be combined into one scenario.
  7. Finally, after a detailed process of evaluation, selection and elimination that involves the full e-Highway2050 consortium we have a set of agreed e-Highway2050 scenarios. Typically, we aim for a number between 5-10 to enable a detailed numerical analysis of each scenario in the following work packages.

The various boundary conditions that are identified in this work package will act as limits or bounds in the process of building coherent futures and strategies into a feasible number of relevant scenarios in steps 3, 4 and 5. As an example, the effect of various boundary conditions is shown in Figure 3 for the wind generation potential in a given country. The level and order of the different boundaries may of course change from country to country and from scenario to scenario.

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